(This is part of my journey playing through Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
Chapter Four begins and we’re back in the shoes of the intense, driven Grace Nakimura. Whose life will she ruin today? I can hardly wait to find out!
It’s nighttime and a full moon (because werewolves), and Grace is having a nightmare involving being chased by wolves while wearing a white dress that’s like 40 feet long. It’s the Rapunzel of dresses, let me tell you. When she gets to a sleigh, the driver turns into a werewolf and then Grace does that thing where the hero wakes up from a bad dream and sits straight up in bed. You know, that thing nobody ever does.
What to do after a nightmare? Why, do some light historical reading on Ludwig II, the fairytale prince. This biography mentions the king’s late obsession with a guy named Louis, who also was into “sensual” stuff. So he made a wolfie pal and… what? Got turned into a werewolf himself? I’m still not seeing all of the connections between the current story and the investigation into the past here.
Grace goes down to the post office and starts grinning like a little girl when she sees that she’s gotten a letter from Gabe. A love letter? Oh, please! Actually, no… it’s more work, but that’s just as good from Grace’s perspective. Gabe asks her to do some looking into Ludwig II, so I guess we’re off to a good start for the day.
At the hotel restaurant, Grace bumps into the weirdo Smiths again and chats them up. All I want to know is how much product that lady uses in her hair, but that’s not one of the dialogue options.
What they do talk about is how they see themselves as “warriors of the light” who fight against the forces of darkness. In what I see as a bit of hypocrisy, these hardcore Christians are also into Tarot readings, and they offer to do a reading for Grace. She gets “the Empress” and Gabe gets “the Magician.” Mrs. Smith warns Grace of an upcoming trial and that she must use the power of her love to get them through it. Grace starts sputtering about how she and Gabe aren’t… I mean… you’ve got the wrong idea…
Oh Grace, only hypocrites can sit at this table.
Because Grace just cannot have a normal day at all, her next stop is back at the church crypt where she sees Gerde mourning over the previous chuckyeager (or whatever, I’m tired of looking the spelling up). “Oh hey Gerde! You’re into death too? Awesome!”
Well, Ms. Dense Head finally realizes that Gerde was in love with Wolfgang and probably wasn’t jumping into the sack with Gabe, so she goes to pick some flowers to make it all better. It’s a long flower-picking scene. It’s a very, very long flower-picking scene. I would not have been surprised if “1-800-FLOWERS1-800-FLOWERS” appeared as the sponsor for this scene.
Because flowers makes everything better, the second Grace dumps them on Wolfgang’s tomb, all is forgiven. Gerde finally hands over the keys to Gabe’s car. ABOUT TIME. Should have shoved some tulips in your face two days ago. Man I’m so tired of this village.
With the freedom of a car, Grace makes a beeline to… a Ludwig II museum. Gabe, who wants to see that stuffy fart when we can look at paintings of an even stuffier old dead fart? The whole Ludwig connection is starting to intrigue, especially concerning the connection around the coup that ended his reign under mysterious circumstances. A couple other details emerge from this trip to the world’s smallest museum: a painting that features the sleigh that Grace saw in her dream, the fact that Ludwig and Wagner (the music guy) were friends and there was something about a new Wagner opera, and the tidbit that Ludwig became a recluse in his later years.
To this game’s credit, it does expect the player to pay attention. I’m kind of impressed that any scenes where one or more of the characters are speaking German are not subtitled — we’re supposed to catch the gist of what’s being said from relatable words and body language (or actually learn German, I guess). I appreciate that. Feels more immersive.
So knowing what the game has told me already and with no outside information, I’m going to call it. Louis, a werewolf, bit Ludwig and made him into a werewolf as well. But since Ludwig wanted to save his soul, he hid himself from his people so that he wouldn’t prey on them.